The idea of paying somebody to lock you in a windowless room may sound counterintuitive on the surface. But escape rooms represent a lucrative industry today.
Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the stats.
From 2014 to 2017 alone, the escape room industry grew from just 22 facilities to more than 2,000. Today, there are approximately 2,300 in the country, and the market continues to grow.
But how much is an escape room? And how can you capitalize on this growing trend?
Read on for a full breakdown of how to get in on a piece of the escape room action.
The Big Business of Escape Rooms
What’s driving the rise of this new form of American entertainment? The celebration of the geek in American pop culture. While being a nerd was looked down upon 20 to 30 years ago, “geeking out” today is not only acceptable but encouraged.
Thanks, Big Bang Theory!
Of course, there’s no better way to display your intellect than with a life-sized game of twists and turns where players search for clues and solve puzzles.
And the proof is in the pudding. New escape room businesses are springing up all over the country. And they not only place a spotlight on self-proclaimed nerds but pay homage to trending technology.
Just as crossword puzzles rose in popularity with increased newspaper circulation, and Rubik’s cubes celebrated the ability to manufacture and mold new plastic products, so escape rooms play on a current tech trend. Social media.
Social Media and Escape Rooms
What does social media have to do with escape rooms? Well, for one, there’s been a 13 percent rise in the use of hashtags such as #weescaped and #escaperoom on Instagram since 2016.
During the same period, there’s also been a rise in sharing escape room-related photos. And escape room businesses prove quick to satisfy this social media obsession with click-worthy props such as hard hats, costumes, and signs.
Yes, the corniness feels tangible, but customers of escape rooms embrace it. What’s more, themed escape rooms continue to gain currency. These include nods to famous movies such as Jumanji, Jack Reacher, and Tomb Raider.
And the thirst for these interactive game experiences won’t die anytime soon. From 2015 to 2016, Google searches for “escape room” more than doubled, and from 2016 to 2017, they tripled.
These businesses also enjoy seasonal spikes around school holidays as families look for something unique to do as a family.
How Much Is an Escape Room?
How much is an escape room? While escape room costs vary, initial investments can run as low as $7,000. With an escape room cost of $30 per person, in as little as a month, you can expect to see a return on your investment.
While months vary with school vacation-specific peaks, many escape rooms conservatively gross $600,000 per year.
In other words, expect to do very well, especially with a solid digital marketing plan that incorporates SEO for excellent online rankings. Having a popular theme that evokes adventure also remains a crucial element of success.
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